Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Diamond Named Crystal Poem

 “I have breast cancer.” The words you said in a matter of fact way.

I tried to process the declaration, But no words could I say.

We kept a positive attitude, believing it would all be okay.

In spite of the threat that it could take your life one day.


You eventually told me, “They said I may have three years.”

You were the one comforting me, trying to calm all my fears.

That discussion was a phone conversation, but you still heard me cry.

I was asking what everyone else was, the unexplainable question, why?


Surgeries and chemo were to follow, because that’s what we’re told to do.

None of us had ever experienced such a thing, it was all something new.

But in a short period of time, things were discovered that we never knew.

Hours and days were spent researching, not by a doctor, but by you.


It wasn’t very long, and your scans showed up clear.

This continued to happen, year after year.

Those three years came and went, then four, five and six.

There was still nothing broken, therefore, nothing to fix.


However, you took the possible death sentence very seriously,

Living each and every day with intent and a smile on your face.

In spite of being faced with such a thing, you were so impressive.

Handling everything with dignity, poise and grace.


Year after year everyone held their breath,

When it came time for the yearly scans.

No one wanted to hear you talk of your death,

Or that you had already made your funeral plans.


You asked me to be a part of those plans, in case they ever came to be.

You said, “Make sure I look pretty. Do you think you could do that for me?”

I assured you I would, and I would have it no other way.

But that I wasn’t ready for you to go, I needed you to stay.


You asked me that when this all started, but asked me again not long ago.

We sat at my kitchen table, and I wondered, did you already know?

I questioned how you felt, “Do you really think it will be this way?”

You said, “I am sure it will. Not today of course, but yes, it will one day.”


I didn’t want to disagree with you, nor did I want to comply.

I didn’t know what to say that day, but I decided that I’d try.

“You know what I think my friend? I think there will come a day …

A day when you are simply tired, and that will be okay.


No one can possibly keep up such a fight as this forever, in spite of popular belief.

Perhaps a time will come when it’s hard to see through the grief.

I cannot imagine what it has been like for you to fight day in and day out.

Eventually, anyone would wonder what this life‘s really all about.


Don’t get me wrong, I want you to fight and stay here as long as you can.

But what you or I want will not matter in the Master Plan.

You will know when you are too tired to continue fighting the fight.

It will be a matter of ‘have to,’ not simply ‘wrong’ or ‘right.”


Though we like to think our attitudes and what we do matter so much,

We both know we cannot control life, death and such.

And besides, I would have sworn we were at the end last year.

It had seemingly destroyed your lungs, but look, now they are all clear.”


One may think these were silly pep talks, but it was really true.

When there was no way to beat the odds, the rule was broken by you.

We have all learned that the rules do not always apply.

Time and time you proved them wrong, and no one knew how or why.


But, that day when we were talking, your eyes had a yellow tint.

This should have been a warning flag, or at least a little hint.

Maybe I just thought you were tired, or the lighting was bad.

Maybe I didn’t want to say anything that could worry you or make you sad.


That day was the beginning of the end, little did we know.

It was just a few days after that a scan would clearly show …

There’s no need to recap all of that. I couldn’t bear to anyway.

It will still remain the same, at the end of the day.




Everything went just as you planned, and we knew exactly what to do.

We were all in the room gathered around, lovingly surrounding you.

I can’t remember if you asked us not to cry … if so, we failed the test.

But we did try so hard to honor your each and every request.


We gathered around your children, and shielded them from the bad.

We comforted one another, your husband, mom and dad.

Though one would think we may have been ready, that wasn’t really true.

Come to find out the hard way, there was no preparing for losing you.


I hope one day to be at peace for the promise I couldn’t keep.

It has haunted me for many days, waking me from sleep.

Deep down I know it is okay and other things matter more.

But there will never be another chance, as there has always been before.


I am sad that I couldn’t be there to get you ready like I said I would.

Everyone has told me, and I know, that you certainly understood.

As I fretted and overthought it, I remembered what we said we’d do.

We promised we’d stay connected, and that I’d still hear from you.


So as I sit here writing this, a familiar presence of you filled the air.

You said, “You did do what I asked you to when you fixed my hair.

Remember, just moments after it was all over, and Mama spoke to you?

Don’t forget the ones I needed to look pretty for, my audience of two.”


Yes, I do remember that moment, though I didn’t see it that way.

The nurse asked if I wanted her to do it, and I sobbed out, “No, I’m okay.”

Your Mom asked, “Can you fix her hair so it’s pretty, before the babies come in?”

It was my last and final chance to brush your hair again.


I brushed and cried, like I was hurrying, but didn’t want it to end.

How I love brushing the beautiful, long brunette hair of my lifelong friend.

You looked like a China doll who was in a peaceful sleep.

The hopes of making positive memories that your children could keep.


Making the best out of the worst situation is the way you always wanted it to be.

Thank you for another powerful lesson that you have again taught to me.

We will always remember your positive ways, your laugh and sweet smile.

Knowing we will all be physically apart from you, but it's only for a while.

 I love you Crystal...

May 21, 2015


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